Puffing Billy’s annual Christmas tour cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic
Organisers of Puffing Billy’s Christmas tour have announced that it will be cancelled for 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The road train was built by South Hetton businessman Ian Morrell in tribute to the one he remembered from his visit to Butlin’s in Filey as a youngster.
Created in 2012, it first toured communities the next year, with each festive tour becoming bigger and better than the last.
The yearly tour also raises money for the children’s heart unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, where Ian’s grandson Caden had open-heart surgery when he was just two-months-old.
Unfortunately it has been confirmed that the tour will not go ahead this year, with the reason of safety concerns for both the Puffing Billy team and members of the public.
A statement posted on the Puffing Billy Facebook page said: “We have waited and waited, we have looked at different options and we have prayed for a miracle, but try as we might, we failed.
“We are devastated to announce that Puffing Billy will not be on his travels this coming festive period. We just can’t keep our team and you guys safe.
A book is published each year to accompany the tour and organisers have said there will be an announcement soon about how the public can get them for this year.